By Leonie Duengefeld
If you ride your bike in the evening northwards alongside the Maas, it might happen that a peculiar group of people attracts your attention. Just after passing by the Music Hall at Wilhelminabrug, you can spot them on your right, in a park called “De Griend”. They would probably stand in a circle, jump, lay on the floor and make all these movements that seem rather exhausting. You could also recognize them by their intense gasping and groaning. While driving past, you watch them and wonder what’s happening and if you’re in danger. Do not worry. This strange occurrence is just a new fitness trend called “Freeletics”.
Freeletics is a strength and conditioning sport for which you use nothing but your own body weight. Meaning, no weights and no machines. Therefore, you can perform it wherever you want; whether it is a public park, or the coziness of your own home. The different workouts with promising names, such as “Aphrodite”, “Dione” or “Artemis”, are each a set of multiple exercises that need to be completed in a predetermined count and order. Depending on whether you want to improve your strength or your endurance, they include running, push-ups, burpees, squats and pull-ups. Another alternative is MAX, where as many repetitions of one exercise as possible are performed in a given time. The high intensity and all-out physical exertion of the workouts is supposed to score surprising results, despite average training terms of only 30 to 45 minutes or even less.
Founded in early 2013 by a group of enthusiastic athletes from Munich, Freeletics has spread at cyber speed. The new trend is promoted on the social media by athletes who encourage people by telling them their stories of success and comparing the “before and after” effects. There is even a Freeletics- App for the individuals training at home. Within a few months organised groups appeared all over Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg and… Maastricht. How did it end up here? In September, Thomas Goetz and Niklas Kuhlmann, both students at the SBE, initiated a group on Facebook with help from the founders in Munich, which hit on enormous interest. The online space is used to organize the workout meetings and to share the individual results. At the moment, the group meets three times a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Due to current bad weather conditions the location has been transferred to the Gymzaal Mariaberg, Gentiaanstraat 3. Everyone interested is invited to join, regardless of the individual fitness level: Each exercise can be adapted to every athlete. After the first trainings, you will probably fall into your bed totally exhausted and the days afterwards you will feel every single muscle of your body – but it is worth all that, because despite all the pain you will feel great happiness and the ambition to stick to it!
Facebook: “Freeletics Maastricht”